Did You Enter Without Inspection? YOU May Be Eligible for the LIFE Act 245(i) Exception!

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Noncitizen spouses who have entered the United States without inspection may still be eligible for immigration benefits under section 245(i) of the LIFE Act.  Many people who have either never had valid immigration status in the U.S. or who have fallen out of valid status are allowed to apply for adjustment of status in the U.S. if they pay a penalty fee.  Without this type of waiver, many people who do not have valid status in the U.S. would be unable to seek a visa while in the United States.  Without this waiver, they would be required to seek their immigrant visa from within their home country.  However, due to the status violation, they also would be barred from reentering the U.S. for at least three years.  In many cases, they may even be banned from re-entering the U.S. for ten years!

To be eligible for this waiver, you must:

  • have been present in the U.S. before December 18, 2000, and
  • have either filed a family or employment based residency petition on or before April 30, 2001, or you must have been the derivative beneficiary of such a petition.

Even if your initial petition was not successful, but was filed on or before April 30, 2001, you may still be eligible for the 245(i) waiver.   Under certain circumstances you may apply again for residency through another family petition.   Immigration law is one of the most complicated areas of law, with a constantly evolving and changing laws and regulations.  At Your Immigration Angel, we are committed to staying on top of the most recent changes to help you better follow your immigration path! Let us guide you on your path and assist you in achieving your immigration goals!

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Do You Know the Limitations of the K-3 or K-4 Spouse Visa?

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While the K-3 and K-4 visa offers many benefits, there are some other considerations to think about, depending on your personal situation.  For example, did you know that even though an immigrant visa is immediately available when a K-3 Petition for Alien Relative reaches the Department of State, but then your spouse’s children are no longer eligible for K-3/K-4 nonimmigrant status?  In that situation, the children must immigrate as lawful permanent residents.  If the K-4 visa holder does not have an approved Petition for Alien Relative at the Department of State at that time, he or she will be ineligible to immigrate with the spouse of the USC.

It is advisable that the U.S. citizen petitioner file a separate green card petition on the child’s behalf concurrently with the green card petition that is filed for the spouse.     While there is no requirement that a separate application needs to be filed for the child’s petition, it is advisable if a K-4 visa is desired.

K-3 or K-4 nonimmigrant visa holders are only admitted for a 2-year period.  A K-3 or K-4 nonimmigrant visa holder may apply for an extension of status in 2-year increments as long as the marriage-based green card visa petition or a corresponding application for adjustment of status or visa application is still pending adjudication.  A K-4’s authorized stay automatically expires when the K3’s status expires.

You CAN obtain a green card for your child(ren) when you obtain a marriage based green card through your U.S. citizen spouse!

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If your petitioning spouse is a U.S. citizen the children are full biological children or legal step-children, they may qualify for green cards as the U.S. petitioner’s immediate relatives.  The children must be unmarried and under 21, and if they are step-children, they must have been under 18 years of age when you married.   Immigration laws give a high priority to applicants who are immediate relatives.   Also, there are no annual limits on the number of green cards issued for immediate relatives, and waiting periods. Your Immigration Angel is available to help you with any of your immigration needs today!  Call or email for a free consultation.

Are YOU Admissible to the U.S.?

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How to Determine Admissibility to the U.S. for a Green Card Application

 

“Admission” means the lawful entry into the U.S. after inspection and authorization by a United States immigration officer.

 

Under U.S. Immigration law, a  person is seeking admission when he or she:

  •  is present at the border or port of entry and seeks permission to enter the U.S.
  • is physically present in the U.S., but entered without inspection
  •  applies for an adjustment of status to  become a lawful permanent resident, such as through a marriage green card

 

Additionally, in some instances, a lawfully admitted individual may travel abroad after being convicted of a crime and then want to return to the U.S., which is also considered seeking (re)admission.

If you are considering petitioning for your spouse to obtain a green card, let us help you so that you can avoid being separated from your loved one  and can maintain your family unity. We know that separation is difficult for you.  Your Immigration Angel can help you to  secure the right family visas to allow you to unite with your spouses and family members.  Call or email for a free consultation today!

Did You Know that You can Apply for a Green Card Even if Your Visa has Expired?

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If you entered the United States “legally,” you probably came to this country with a valid nonimmigrant visa, such as a student visa, tourist visa, or temporary work visa.  Some people are even allowed into the U.S. on a visa waiver or with a special pass at one of the U.S. borders.  In either event, you would have been inspected by an immigration official at your point of entry and allowed into the United States.  This method of entering the U.S. makes it easier for you to file for an Adjustment of Status in the U.S.  Your U.S. citizen spouse can file a Petition for Alien Relative to apply for your green card.

However, did you know that even if you are now staying in the U.S. past the date of your authorized stay, , you are still eligible for a marriage based green card?  A green card is still available to you even if you are “out of status” or are staying here illegally.  If you have overstayed by six months or more since April 1, 1997 you may still apply but would need a waiver.  It is very important to note that if you leave the country, you would be barred from returning for three or ten years, depending on the length of your unauthorized stay.  Immigration law is a complicated field.  Your personal immigration path may have twists and turns that you did not expect!  We can help you to make your journey as smooth as possible.  Contact Your Immigration Angel today for your free consultation!

The Two Paths to a Marriage Based Green Card from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Which is Right For YOU?

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There are two paths to apply for a marriage based green card.  Which path is right for you depends on your individual circumstances.  The two methods are:

1.)   If you are outside of the United States, then you can apply through a consular process and have your interview at the U.S. consulate in your county.

2.)  If you are currently in the United States, then you can apply to adjust status from within the U.S. and you will have the interview in the U.S.

If you are in the U.S., the USCIS will review your application based on if you came into the U.S. with an inspection or entered the U.S. without an inspection.  If you have fallen out of lawful status but you entered the U.S. legally, and had an inspection by an immigration official, you can generally obtain your green card from within the U.S.   If you are in the U.S. without lawful status, then you cannot change your status from within the U.S.  You will have to return to your home country to proceed through a consular process unless you qualify for an exception to this general rule as the spouse of a U.S. citizen.  Immigration law is very complicated and errors or problems with your petition for a green card can ruin the chances for success now and in the future.  For assistance with your marriage based green card, please contact Your Immigration Angel today!

Lawful Permanent Resident? You can Bring your Spouse and Child(ren) to the U.S.!

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As a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States, you are allowed to live in the United States indefinitely even if you are still a foreign national.  Permanent residency also entitles you to work in the United States and to travel in and out of the United States without seeking additional visas or permissions.  However, what is usually most important to many LPRs is the ability to petition for a foreign spouse or child(ren) to be granted permanent residency through a green card.  You can petition for your spouse and children and there are always green cards available, because they are immediate relatives!  For more information on petitioning for your spouse and child(ren), contact Your Immigration Angel today!